The proclamation of the Palestinian state. On November 15, 1988, according to cellphoneexplorer, the Palestinian National Council proclaimed the State of Palestine (with Jerusalem as its capital) and in December ‛Arafat explicitly recognized Israel before the UN General Assembly; by mid-1989 the state of Palestine (of which ‛Arafat was elected president) had been recognized by over 90 nations. These developments were followed, since 1989, by repeated peace initiatives, but these continued to clash with the hostility of Tel Aviv. The situation was unlocked only when Israel and the PLO finally reached mutual recognition and signed a Declaration of Principles in Washington (Oslo accords, 13 September 1993)which established that through numerous stages, in a period of time not exceeding 5 years, coexistence between the two peoples in two different states should have been achieved, on the basis of the principle of restitution of the occupied territories to the Palestinian representation in exchange for peace. According to the lines of a new agreement, signed on September 28, 1995 in Washington by ‛Arafat and I. Rabin, the West Bank was divided like a patch into three types of zones: zone A, under Palestinian control; zone B, under joint Israeli-Palestinian control; zone C, under Israeli control. In April 1996 the Palestinian National Council approved the elimination of all passages in the Palestinian National Charter relating to the destruction of Israel. Only in January 1997, however, Partial withdrawal of Israeli forces from Hebron was carried out, but the overall deterioration of Israeli-Palestinian relations effectively led to a suspension of the peace process. The continuing blockade of the negotiation process favored a further growth of the Islamic opposition, expressed in particular by the fundamentalist political movement Hamas. A significant turning point came, in October 1998, with the opening in Wye Plantation (Maryland) of a negotiation between ‛Arafat, B. Netanyahu and B. Clinton, and with the participation of King Husain of Jordan, which concluded the October 23 at the White House with the official signing of a Memorandum. In 1999 ‛Arafat and the new Israeli Prime Minister E. Barak signed an agreement to relaunch the peace process, pledging to end the negotiations by September 2000, the date on which the passage of about 40% of the territories of the West Bank under full or partial control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The new stalemate, caused by the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the increasing use of violence by Hamas, resulted in yet another shift in the Israeli withdrawal calendar. In 2000, the failure of the Camp David negotiations between Israel and the PNA delegation brought to light the ever greater distance between the parties and the strong ambiguities that were never cleared up in the whole negotiation.
The resumption of hostilities. At the end of September 2000, the second intifada, known as al-Aqsa, broke out in Jerusalem. The revolt was severely suppressed by the Israeli government. During 2001 the living conditions of the population of the territories continued to worsen and intensified, after the formation of the national unity government of the leader Likud A. Sharon, Israeli military retaliatory actions. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Wash; ington, the level of confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians increased again and the suicide attacks by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians multiplied. In 2002 the Palestinian territories, repeatedly closed and occupied by the Israeli army during 2001, were overrun by bulldozers and tanks. After a temporary withdrawal of Israeli troops, by the end of June 2002 almost all the cities of the West Bank had been re-occupied or surrounded, while an intervention by US President GW Bush conditioned the birth of the Palestinian state to the renewal of its leadership. In the period 2002-06 Israel (which unilaterally evicted the Gaza Strip in August 2005) built a protective wall against terrorism that was supposed to follow the borders established by the UN in 1967, but which in fact carries out large incursions into Palestinian territory. Abu Mazen, who came to power (2005) after the death of ‛Arafat (2004), was unable to prevent the electoral victory of Hamas (2006), responsible for an exacerbation of the conflict with Israel, which provoked the incursion of the army in the Gaza Strip, and a real civil war with al-Fatah in the streets of Gaza. The formation of a government of national solidarity led by I. Haniyeh did not help to restore peace between the two factions and in June 2007 the Palestine split in two: the West Bank under the control of Abu Mazen and al-Fatah, and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. As the launch of missiles from Gaza to Israel continued, the Israeli government responded with repeated air strikes, the closure of all borders and the blocking of supplies and finally, between December 2008 and January 2009, with military occupation. The peace talks between Abu Mazen and theIsraeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu resumed after a few months with the mediation of the United States, but amid persistent resistance from both interlocutors.